Stinkpot Turtle

Stinkpot Turtle at Wingham Wildlife Park

Stinkpot Turtle Natural History


This species rarely grows bigger than 5 inches (12 cm), and adult have been known to only reach 2 and a half inches (6 cm) in length.

Habitat and Distribution

This is a pond and river turtle which can be found in Canada from Quebec to Ontario and ranging down in to the US from Maine through to Florida.


The lifespan of this species has been recorded to be as long as 50 years or more in captivity and wild lifespans are likely to be similar because they are rarely predated.


This is a carnivorous species which feeds on prey such as aquatic insects, crayfish, clams and fish.

Groups and Breeding

These turtles will lay 2 to 9 hard shelled eggs along the edge of bodies of water either in shallow nests or under river side debris.


Throughout their range this species is fairly common and even though it is still often collected for the pet trade (due to its relatively small size) they are not threatened in the wild.

Interesting facts

This species is often called the Common Musk Turtle, especially in the pet shop trade. However locally they are often called Stinkpots because the foul musk they are able to excrete when threatened.

The Stinkpot Turtle During Your Day Out in Kent

The stinkpot turtles at Wingham Wildlife Park live in the large lake situated in front of the lions, jaguars and pumas. They have free access to the majority of this lake and the banks surrounding it. They may be seen basking in the sun on land when the weather is warmer or alternatively swimming in the lake which they share with carp, ducks, geese, a black swan, storks and several other turtle species such as Mississippi map turtles, yellow bellied sliders and common snapping turtles.